Oracle has unveiled version 2 of its 8i database, which it claims provides improved data warehousing functionality and includes native support for XML and the Java 2 specification.
The offering, which is due to ship by the end of the year, includes a Summary Advisor that enables users to define which aggregate table they want to use to speed up data analysis.
It also includes new analytic functionality that has been integrated directly into the database to enable customers to undertake such tasks as ranking and period over period comparisons.
Rene Bonvanie, senior director of product marketing for Oracle's database division, claimed: "The new analytical features in 8i provide a 30 per cent increase in performance. Some 80 per cent of queries should now be done in the database kernel and only about one per cent of the workforce such as financial analysts that want to do deep analysis, need to use Olap (online analytical processing)."
"This leaves Express [Oracle's Olap offering] in the hands of specialists - it's a growing market, but most adhoc queries can now be done in the database," he added.
Bonvanie also claimed that Oracle was the first vendor to support the Java 2 specification natively in its database.
The firm's browser based Enterprise Manager Framework has also been upgraded to manage 12 8i database subsystems from a single console, including Oracle Parallel Server option, its Intermedia workflow product and the supplier's applications.
Parallel Server has been made easier to install due to improvements in integration with 8i and a cache fusion function means that it can recover 10 times faster than before should it go down.
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